The video is a 40-minute lecture by Professor Farid Esack hosted by the Department of Community Relations, which took place at The Institute of Ismaili Studies on 5th March 2010.
There are only two dominant paradigms in Muslim thinking in relation to political power. In the Meccan paradigm, we are the persecuted victims with others exercising power over us and in the Medinan one, we are the dominant and dominating group, exercising power over others. In this talk, Professor Esack explores the possibilities of a paradigm that comes from the margins - the Abyssinian paradigm where an early group of Muslims lived as exiles in harmony in a society that respected their basic human rights.
Farid Esack is a South African Muslim scholar, writer and political activist known for his opposition to apartheid, his appointment by Nelson Mandela as a gender equity commissioner, and his work for inter‐religious dialogue. He is currently a Professor in the Study of Islam at the University of Johannesburg.